Judge Allows Bankrupt Peabody to Pay Up to $3.4 Million in Bonuses to White-Collar Employees

first_imgJudge Allows Bankrupt Peabody to Pay Up to $3.4 Million in Bonuses to White-Collar Employees FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Jacob Barker for the St. Louis Post Dispatch:Peabody Energy won approval for a bonus plan for nonexecutives that it says will help retain “mission critical” employees.In a hearing Wednesday in bankruptcy court in St. Louis, Judge Barry Schermer ruled in favor of Peabody, saying the company’s plan “targets those that are in a position to help guide this reorganization.”Peabody this month asked for the authority to pay out as much as $3.24 million in bonuses to keep workers in its finance, legal, sales, marketing, information technology and human resources departments from jumping ship as the company moves through bankruptcy. The majority of the 42 people targeted with retention bonuses are in Peabody’s St. Louis headquarters, a spokesman said.The largest coal company in the country filed for Chapter 11 in April due to a high debt load and a sharp drop in coal demand in the face of low natural gas prices and tightening environmental regulations.“The kind of people we are seeking to provide awards to under this program are mobile” and can take their skill sets to industries outside of coal mining, Peabody attorney Heather Lennox told the judge.Objections to the program came from United Mine Workers of America pension and health care funds, which argued the payments could come at the expense of money apportioned for retiree benefits. Peabody already reduced payments to one of the retiree health funds by $70 million in a deal struck prior to its bankruptcy.“Slashing the health benefits of aged and medically vulnerable retirees with extremely limited resources, while lavishly rewarding white-collar employees, is neither fair nor reasonable,” the UMWA argued in court filings.Full article: Court OKs retention bonuses for mid-level workers at Peabody Energylast_img read more

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Africa’s largest solar-plus-wind-plus-storage project proposed in Kenya

first_imgAfrica’s largest solar-plus-wind-plus-storage project proposed in Kenya FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Tech:Japanese developer Eurus Energy and Australian-headquartered wind developer Windlab have signed a deal with Kenyan authorities to develop an 80MW solar-plus-wind-plus-storage facility in central Kenya. The Meru County Energy Park is being hailed as “Africa’s first large-scale hybrid wind, solar PV and battery project.”According to news reports in The Standard and ESI-Africa, the US$150 million plant will comprise 20 wind turbines and 40,000 solar panels. The facility will be a public-private partnership, and the Meru County government will own part of the project once it is operational. Construction is due to start in 2021.A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Windlab East Africa, Eurus Energy, the Kenya Investment Authority and Meru County government on Thursday 29 August at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development.In June, a consortium of government and development financiers, including the World Bank and Dutch development institution SNV, unveiled a US$47 million pot for providers of off-grid domestic solar in rural Kenya.More: Africa’s ‘largest’ solar-plus-wind-plus-storage project unveiledlast_img read more

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Latest forecast raises estimate of recoverable U.S. natural gas reserves by 20%

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The U.S.’s recoverable natural gas resource base is 20% greater than what an evaluation just two years ago showed, the Potential Gas Committee reported Sept. 11.The nation has about 3,374 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of technically recoverable gas as of year-end 2018, according to the committee. The 557 Tcf jump from two years prior marked the largest increase between the group’s biennial evaluations in its history and was driven primarily by new onshore drilling and production results, along with technology gains allowing for better understanding of the basins, the committee said.“More well drilling and continuous improvements in completion and simulation technologies led to better delineation and characterization of U.S. gas resources, especially in shale and tight reserves,” according to Alexei Milkov of the Colorado School of Mines and director of the Potential Gas Agency, which works closely with the Potential Gas Committee. The committee comprises volunteer geoscientists and engineers.The 3,374 Tcf total represented a mean value computed by statistical aggregation of the minimum, most likely and maximum value distributions.Among reservoir types, shale gas dominated, representing 62% of all U.S. gas resources.When the assessment of technically recoverable resources was combined with the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest estimate of proved reserves, the evaluation put the future U.S. supply of gas at 3,838 Tcf, up 22% from two years earlier, also breaking prior records.More ($): Technically recoverable U.S. gas reserves 20% higher than 2 years prior Latest forecast raises estimate of recoverable U.S. natural gas reserves by 20%last_img read more

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Indiana utility proposes early closure for two units at Petersburg coal plant

first_imgIndiana utility proposes early closure for two units at Petersburg coal plant FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:Indianapolis Power & Light’s 2019 integrated resource plan will propose the early retirement of 630 MW across two coal-fired units, the procurement of 200 MW of firm capacity and an increase in demand side management programs, the utility said Dec. 9.The plan would continue IPL’s shift away from coal, which made up nearly 80% of the utility’s generation mix in 2007, but only 43% today. After the proposed retirements of the coal-fired units 1 and 2 at the Petersburg plant by 2021 and 2023, respectively, coal would provide less than 30% of IPL’s generation.The Sierra Club, however, said that during the IRP process it will urge IPL to also retire two other, larger coal units at the Petersburg plant that would be kept open under the plan. Retiring those units would eliminate coal-fired power from the portfolio of plants owned by IPL.Petersburg units 3 and 4 have an installed capacity of 547 MW and 531 MW respectively, and a useful economic life through 2042, compared to 2032 and 2034 for the two smaller units at the plant.“While several systematic changes in wholesale power markets are impacting the viability of coal in [the Midcontinent Independent System Operator], Petersburg Units 3 and 4 provide firm, dispatchable capacity. Maintaining those units preserves optionality in the face of great uncertainty over the next five years,” including the outcome of the next federal election, IPL said in a summary of the IRP, which will be officially filed with Indiana regulators on Dec. 16. But IPL plans to “monitor” if the market conditions around Petersburg 3 and 4 support their continued operation and may reevaluate them in its 2022 IRP.IPL is owned by AES Corp., a major battery storage developer, and the utility currently operates a 20-MW battery array at its Harding Street plant, a former coal plant that has been converted to run on natural gas. The IRP envisions storage filling 8% of IPL’s resource mix by 2039. The utility’s current mix is 45% natural gas, 43% coal 8% wind and 4% solar. The IRP projects 47% gas, 28% coal, 11% wind and 15% solar by 2023. [Matthew Bandyk]More: Indianapolis Power & Light announces early retirement for 2 coal units, but NGOs eye bigger targetlast_img read more

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German government outlines $10 billion plan to boost green hydrogen

first_imgGerman government outlines $10 billion plan to boost green hydrogen FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:The German government agreed Wednesday on a long-term strategy for increasing production and use of hydrogen as part of a plan to cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.While hydrogen is currently produced almost exclusively from fossil fuels, the government wants to encourage its production from excess electricity generated by renewable energy sources.Experts say this so-called green hydrogen could help smooth out the problem of solar and wind power’s fluctuating supply, and replace fossil fuels in industrial processes that require high temperatures such as steel making.The government plans to invest 9 billion euros ($10.2 billion) to promote hydrogen production and use, including 2 billion euros that will go toward projects in developing countries such as Morocco.It set a goal of building hydrogen production facilities in Germany with a capacity of up to five gigawatts by 2030.Germany’s industry lobby group BDI welcomed the government decision. “Only with hydrogen at competitive prices, from domestic sources and imports, can the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 be reached,” said BDI deputy head Holger Loesch.[Frank Jordans]More: German government agrees on national hydrogen strategylast_img read more

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High Five: June 2012

first_img1. Climbing Wunderkind Sets Record in RedRed River Gorge, Ky.At age 10, Brooke Raboutou recently became the youngest female and American to send a 5.14a when she scaled the steep grade of “God’s Own Stone” at Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. While no small feat, the Colorado-based climbing wunderkind has been raised on rock, as her mother Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou was a four-time world-cup winner who now runs a kids’ climbing program in Boulder.2. Bears on BroadcastScranton, Pa.In northeastern Pennsylvania, a mama bear and three cubs wandered into the backyard of a Scranton news station where meteorologist Kurt Aaron was delivering a weather segment. When Aaron turned around, one of the bears was only 10 feet away from him, so he darted inside as a safety precaution. The live cameras continued to roll, showing bears rooting for trash instead of the latest weather maps.3. What is art?Martinsburg, W.Va. West Virginia-based artist David Heatwole wasn’t pleased by the city of Martinsburg’s plans to raise a sculpture of the town founder, Revolutionary War Major General Adam Stephen. So in what he’s calling a symbolic request for more public art, Heatwole placed a toilet on the pedestal that was intended for the sculpture and attached a fake bill of sale that read “crappy work of art.” He was charged with littering.4. Rabid Bear AttackAlbemarle County, Va. A rabid black bear attacked two men who were moving stones using a utility vehicle. The 120-pound female bear first charged the vehicle and then came after the two workers. After climbing on to the roof of the vehicle, one of the men killed the bear with a shotgun. Officials said it was the first bear with rabies ever reported in Virginia and only the second on the East Coast—the other in Maryland.5. Bo Knows BikesHenagar, Ala. In addition to Major League Baseball Player, National Football League star, and Heisman Trophy winner, Bo Jackson can now add endurance cyclist to his resume. In April, the professional sports hero led a 300-mile bike ride across Northern Alabama to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the devastating tornadoes that ripped through the region in 2011, leaving an estimated 250 people dead. Pedaling a rig painted the colors of his Auburn alma mater and bearing the names of those killed by the storm, Jackson was joined on the ride by a cast of celebrity friends including fellow MLB star Ken Griffey, Jr., Lance Armstrong, and pro skier Picabo Street.SkywalkingMoscow, RussiaForget planking. A new, much more dangerous cyber craze is taking off thanks to the viral photos of a risk-taking Russian teen. Marat Dupri, 19, and his friends call themselves skywalkers—a label derived from climbing to the top of skyscrapers and television towers and snapping photos from ledges, sans harness.No Tweet for YouPro cycling team Omega Pharma Quickstep’s sporting director has banned his riders from using Twitter within an hour after finishing races. The policy is aiming to prevent hot-headed post-race remarks from being posted: “It will give team members time to think before tweeting thoughts brimming with finish-line emotion that are often regretted.”Guv Too Quick for Black BearVermont Governor Pete Shumlin had a close call with a group of black bears back in April. Shumlin first tried to yell at the bears scavenging from bird feeders on his property. Then when he went to take them down, one of the bears charged him, coming within three feet of the governor who made it back inside his house unharmed.last_img read more

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Clips of the Week: Cletus, Quad Busting, and Active Ingredients

first_imgOur favorite outdoor videos from around the web:1. Cletus, Take the ReelA tail of friendship and determination from a Mississippi pond.2. The Quad Buster to End All Quad BustersThis is “The Steepest Race in Europe,” the Red Bull 400 Planica, in which racers run up the Planica ski jumping hill in Slovenia. Those crazy Slovenians!3. Inspirational OutdoorsmanThis guy knows what life is all about. The story of Eduardo Garcia. Not sure where they got all the “before” shots, but expect this guy to end up in some sort of tv show in the near future, probably on the food channel.Active Ingredient from Citizen Pictures on Vimeo.last_img read more

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Trail Mix: Aryk Crowder Video Premiere!

first_imgStanding at the intersection of two busy roads in the heart of his hometown of Chicago is the perfect metaphor for the music Aryk Crowder creates. Crowder’s music, like Chicago’s bustling downtown traffic patterns, is a mash up of influences, from blues and R&B to groove laden pop and hip hop.Back in 2014, Crowder released the first of his 2 x 4 EP series. The second installment, 2 x 4, Vol. 2, dropped last week. Opting for a simpler approach to the recording process, Crowder presents the songs on the new EP almost as skeletons for future endeavors. Though complete in their own rite, Crowder offers that the songs could be ripe for future evolution.“Similar to how 2 x 4s are the framework for a home, most of these songs are similar in that they are the framework for what could be larger arrangements,” says Crowder. “I decided to give them a stripped down approach to let the song itself speak. Maybe someday I’ll rerecord them, but for now I like the delivery of simplicity.”While I have been grooving to the new EP since I got it, I am even more excited for what the blog brings this week. Premieres always get me a bit tickled, and Trail Mix is excited to offer fans and new listeners the first chance to check out the video for “What You Want,” the kickoff track from the brand new EP.Aryk Crowder has a run of shows in New York City early next month. For more information on him, how you can get your hands on the new EP, or when Aryk Crowder might be coming to a stage near you, please check out his website.last_img read more

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Best Beers For Fall Along The Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail

first_imgThere is nothing quite like fall in the Shenandoah Valley. It’s the perfect time to be outside. The temperature is cooler, the sunlight is golden, the leaves have a satisfying crisp underfoot, and nature is putting on a brilliant display of color.And honestly, for beer lovers, one of the most exciting reasons to get outside is what’s waiting when you return. If you’re planning to spend a day (or a weekend) hiking, biking or road tripping amidst the stunning landscapes of the Shenandoah Valley and nearby Shenandoah National Park, plan to quench your thirst at a taproom nearby – with 14 breweries on tap, you’ll have plenty of locations to choose from. The Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail (SBT) is located in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in and around the beer-friendly cities of Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton, and Waynesboro.Fall is the perfect time to experiment with darker porters, some more flavorful spicy and fruit-soaked brews, and even some fresh hop beers. While all the breweries offer fantastic flights of seasonal releases, here are a few fall beers to get you started:Brothers Craft Brewing’s Barrel-Aged “Resolute”Resolute greets you with a thick, chocolaty head followed by an unbelievably complex harmony of vanilla, oak, chocolate, espresso, and a rich malty base that each clamor for your attention.Redbeard Brewing Company’s “Whipple Creek Harvest Ale”This IPA is brewed exclusively with freshly gathered local Cascade hops.  The harvest ale beckons with an earthy, floral nose and offers a dry, crisp palate due to the simple malt bill used to showcase the fresh hops.Devils Backbone Brewing Company’s “Cran-Gose”Based on the traditional Gose brewing style, the brewery added heaps of pureed cranberry to brew its refreshing Cran-Gose.  Light and fruity, Cran-Gose is pink hued with a cranberry aroma and a naturally tart finish.Stable Craft Brewing’s “Hop Harvest Ale”A delightfully fresh, fall take on Stable Craft Brewing’s delicious pale ale. It’s made from the brewery’s own Cascade hops (which are grown and harvested at the farm brewery) and they are used in every process of the beer making, from the mash to the brite tank. Stable Craft’s Hop Harvest Ale possesses the wonderful aromas and flavorings of fresh grass and citrus.Basic City Beer Co.’s Grinville Vanilla StoutThis mouthwatering stout is sure to please. Treat your taste buds to a double dose of vanilla – from Madagascar and Indonesia – which impart a buttery sweet, cocoa fruit essence within the foundation of a silky dark stout.Ready to hit the trail?  Information about what to do, where to stay, and special events is available on the website. This Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail is brought to you by: Staunton, Augusta, and Waynesboro Tourism, Harrisonburg Tourism, and Lexington & The Rockbridge Area Tourism.Please drink responsibly.Hot tip! >> Make sure to subscribe to the Beerwerks email list, so you can be among the first to get the details on SBT’s new brewery passport, which will be unveiled later this year. Be sure to get your passport document stamped at each brewery you visit.  Once you’ve collected six stamps, you’ll earn a custom-designed, collectible Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail t-shirt!last_img read more

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An Insider’s Guide to Exploring the New River Gorge National River

first_imgExploring the abundance of outdoor recreation, cultural, and historical sites that span the more than 70,000-acre New River Gorge National River in one weekend — let alone one day — is impossible. The park offers ample outdoor adventures — hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and fishing — for exploring this West Virginia treasure. If planning a first-time visit, below are five sites any newbie should see.new_river_gorge_bridgeNew River Gorge BridgeThe bridge stretches almost six-tenths of a mile and stands 876 feet above the New River. Completed in October 1977, the New River Gorge Bridge was built as a means to fuel more economic development and create better access to rural areas. Check out the Long Point, Bridge, and Canyon Rim Boardwalk hiking trails for different vantages of the mammoth structure. The Fayette County Chamber of Commerce also hosts the annual Bridge Day festival — this year’s event is Oct. 15 — when the bridge is closed to vehicular traffic and visitors can legally walk across the river on the roadway. Thousands of spectators attend each year, as do hundreds of BASE jumpers who leap from the bridge into the Gorge below.Endless WallTrue to its name, the 2.4-mile Endless Wall Trail winds through hemlock- and rhodendenron-choked forest and along a cliffline offering panoramic views of the New River and New River Gorge Bridge. The trail also offers access to several of the more than 1,400 established climbing routes available in the park.  endless_wallFayetteville, W.Va.Explore downtown Fayetteville. The small town, located about two miles from the New River Gorge Bridge, is home to several outfitters, a yoga studio, craft brewery, and restaurants including the Secret Sandwich Society and Cathedral Café, as well as plenty of other cultural and historical attractions.Fayetteville (Secret Sandwich Society)Babcock State ParkSearching for a base camp from which to explore the New River Gorge? Check out Babcock State Park. The 4,127-acre park is located about a half-hour from Fayetteville and within the national river boundaries. It includes a campground and cabins, more than 20 miles of hiking trails, fishing, a 19-acre lake, and the Glade Creek Grist Mill that is operational and produces freshly ground cornmeal that you can purchase.babcock_state_parkWhitewater Rafting and Sandstone FallsDescribed as one of the best whitewater rivers in the eastern U.S., the New River Gorge National River includes 53 miles of the 320-mile New River between Bluestone Dam and Hawks Nest Lake. The upper section of the river, from Hinton to Thurmond, provides runs that include Class I, II and III rapids. The section below Thurmond, “the Lower Gorge,” includes more challenging, Class IV and V rapids and is only recommended for more advanced paddlers. You can run the river on your own or go through a local outfitter.whitewater_rafting-sandstone_fallsBelow Hinton, W.Va.,the southern gateway to the New River Gorge National River,  is the largest waterfall on the New River. Sandstone Falls stretches 1,500 feet across the river and drops 10 to 25 feet. Walk along the ¼-mile Sandstone Falls Boardwalk for a close-up view of the falls or stop by the Sandstone Falls overlook off West Virginia Route 20 for a view from 600 feet above the river. Also visit Hinton. The former railroad center boasts an historic district, railroad museum, antique shops, and restaurants.[divider]About the Author[/divider]DunnKatie Dunn, a journalist from Wise, Va., is an avid hiker, runner, and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She is also co-director of the High Knob Hellbender 10K road race in Norton, Va. and co-founder of the High Knob Outdoor Club.Related Articles:last_img read more

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